START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Making Sense of the Complicated World of Natural Products

Making Sense of the Complicated World of Natural Products
  • 1 of 2

Written by Chris Thonis

In a perfect world, every product we buy would be safe from harmful chemicals, promote social responsibility and be made sustainably. The word “organic” would be irrelevant because nothing could be grown through any other means. Household cleaners would derive strictly from plants and every toy, cosmetic and plastic would remain unquestionably free of neurotoxins or endocrine-disrupting chemicals like BPA and phthalates.

Sadly, we do not live in a perfect world. Products as harmless as rice and baby food have been found to contain lead, known carcinogens continue to show up in everything from our clothing to shower curtains and plastic toys, and the manufacturing of genetically modified food, is being linked directly to obesity and the rapid decline of honeybee colonies in North America.

Throw in an endless stream of conflicting studies about proper nutrition and a proven correlation between overconsumption and environmental destruction and you’ve got a consumer base that is more overwhelmed and anxious about the products they buy than ever before.

The result has been a renewed movement toward natural living; a ballooning $91B industry led by thousands of passionate entrepreneurs and millions of consumers who aim to improve the wellbeing of themselves and the planet through better, cleaner products.

But rapid growth has not come without its problems.

Greater transparency and awareness about food production methods and sustainability issues for example has led to an influx of more than 200 “eco-labels,” which, without any harmony between standards, is doing more to confuse the consumers than educate them.

In addition, more business means more competition, and as the natural living industry nears saturation, merchants are having a harder time standing out from the crowd, while consumers are finding themselves paralyzed by too many choices, not knowing who or what to trust.

Finding Some Clarity founders Jon Polin and Richard Demb have long recognized the need for better cohesiveness in the natural living industry, and launched the natural and organic e-commerce company in 2009 to tackle the issue head on. Their goal: simplify the complexity of living a mindful, natural lifestyle.

Three years later, is making that mission a reality.

I sat down with both founders to find out more about what it has taken to bring the natural industry together, and what still needs to be done to ensure everyone is living better in the near future.

When you first started the company in 2009, what did the natural living industry look like, and how have things changed since?

Jon: Passion for the natural and organic spaces has always been strong, but in the past two years or so the industry has exploded. In my opinion we are nearing a tipping point. People are more concerned than ever about what they are bringing home to their families, and there are countless studies suggesting there is plenty to be concerned about. The result has been improvement across the natural living industry, especially with regards to product selection, improved packaging, and more affordable pricing.

  • 1 of 2

Read more: , , , , , , , ,

Photo from Thinkstock

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
3:48PM PDT on Aug 10, 2013

Thanks for sharing

Jesus is God :D

6:49AM PDT on Jul 22, 2013

Thank you for the information.

5:39AM PDT on Jul 22, 2013

Is this real?

8:27PM PDT on Jul 10, 2013

Thank you.

2:36PM PDT on Jul 3, 2013


10:08PM PDT on Jun 28, 2013

Organic has 3 levels, though. 70%, 90% and 100%. Unless a product is labeled 100% Organic, it isn't always from 100% organic ingredients. It is sad that we, as consumers, cannot get clear and precise answers to the question "what is in our food?", but as long as money is the name of the game, many foods will continue to be a guessing game as to what they truly are. From what I have read, "natural" on a label means, basically, nothing.

7:16PM PDT on Jun 27, 2013

Thank you

2:39AM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

The food industry is such a complex thing. I just wish it was less about profit and more about providing the world with sustainable, responsible goods.

5:12PM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

I learned a long time ago that you can't rely on labels to be truthful. I (along with others) have a negative reaction to garlic, but so many companies list it under "other ingredients" or "spices". It's a food allergy that affects many, but if we can't trust them to even be honest about that, how can we expect them to be truthful about anything?
And even if it is "natural" & "safe", is it in a plastic container that's made with toxic materials?

7:07AM PDT on Jun 24, 2013


add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

Protected in his own natural habitat, collared for oversight, accepted and allowed free-range ... yet…

"Great human suffering is connected to poverty, violence, racism, sexism, homophobia and so many other…

meet our writers

Steve Williams Steve Williams is a passionate supporter of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) rights, human... more
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.